My name is Dylan Hopkinson, I am an archaeologist, occasional artist and a cycling enthusiast, with an empathetic humanitarian streak which has motivated me to put my career on hold indefinitely to embark on this exciting adventure.
Admittedly the challenge will bring me huge personal reward in the form of life experiences I would never otherwise take part in, but at the same time I am able to raise awareness about the plight of countless displaced people around the world and raise money for a worthy charity in the process. None of the money raised is used to fund my participation in the project, and all my living costs are all met by me personally having sold my belongings and committed my life savings to the challenge.
We are currently facing the worst humanitarian crises of our time; many millions of people are forced from their homes around the world by environmental and geopolitical upheaval; in Yemen, Niger, Myanmar, Sudan, and Syria, Iraq for example. Many of these are children, the sick, and elderly and they don’t all survive the treacherous journeys as they flee. Their terrifying ordeal is not over by leaving the immediate threats of their homelands behind and they are bundled into trucks, required to walk many miles or take dangerous voyages by boat. Many are afraid and exhausted, food and water are often in short supply and the conditions they then continue to endure are pitiful.
The NGO International Rescue Committee has been working to support vulnerable refugees since its origins; formed after the 1933 call to action by Albert Einstein. They provide food, water and shelter, clothing and educational programmes for children. They offer medical and washing facilities, legal advice, education and emotional support for those in need, and are the only NGO to also work at resettling them into new foster countries.
My charity bicycle ride to support the International Rescue Committee started in April 2016 and will take several years to complete as I plan to circumnavigate the world by bicycle. I’ve already cycled much more than 20000 km through Europe into Turkey, across the Caspian Sea to join the Silk Route through Central Asia and the stunning landscapes of the Pamir Highway.
Currently I am in India and will continue through South East Asia, China, North and South America and finally Africa, if all goes to plan. Of course there will be parts of the world that I am unable to pass through for the same sorts of reasons that force refugees to leave everything behind; so don't judge me too harshly if from time to time I do need to hop on a plane or alter my course to make it safely around.
When I set off from the UK, my twin brother Edric Hopkinson designed these t-shirts as he wanted to give me something to take but wanted it to be useful. He has agreed to make them available through this store and all profits from the sale of these clothes will go to the International Rescue Committee.
Thanks for listening. Thanks for giving. Thanks for helping to rescue lives.